Though Tom Holland has co-starred with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, meeting his “Spies in Disguise” co-star for the first time was a pretty special experience for the 23-year-old star — partially because of the venue.
“It was kind of crazy, you know, because we did an escape room together,” Holland told Variety at the premiere of the animated film outside the El Capitan Theatre. The pair took on the adventure before hitting the blue carpet together on Wednesday night. “I’ve been a big Will Smith fan for a long time, and then all of a sudden I was locked in a room with him, trying to get us to escape. And I don’t know if I wanted to escape, I was enjoying myself in there with Will Smith.”
In “Spies in Disguise,” Holland voices Walter Beckett, the nerdy right-hand man to super spy Lance Sterling (Smith), but the two never crossed paths while recording.
“It’s really weird that we’re in a movie together that’s coming out. We had never actually been in the same room together,” Smith explained. “That’s the beauty of modern technology. He did most of his stuff in New York and I did mine in L.A., so I thought it would be a nice way for us to get to know one another, we do an escape room to see if we really have chemistry.”
And, good news for Holland: Smith felt the bond too. “We were having a really good time in there. And it’s funny, when we did get out, it was a little anticlimactic. It was a little sad that our time together was done.”
Aside from the “real honor” of co-starring with Smith, Holland admitted he enjoyed the other perks of voice acting. “I did most of this film in my pajamas. I would just show up in my pajamas, t-shirt and spend seven hours in a recording booth,” he said.
Plus, Holland is fulfilling a bit of a dream by getting to operate in the world of espionage (even though it’s animated).
“I would make a really good spy. I’m very good at sneaking into places now that people recognize me and stuff. I’m quite good at sneaking under the radar,” the actor said, adding that he’d love to play the ultimate secret agent — James Bond. “I would 1000% do it. That is like my two biggest goals in life. My two biggest dreams were to play Spider-Man and James Bond.”
Speaking of Spider-Man, Holland is set to return to the superhero franchise in 2021 to play the web slinger for a sixth time, a certainty that was in jeopardy after Sony and Marvel fell out over plans to co-produce the film earlier this year. In October, Disney CEO Bob Iger opened up about how the two studios come to an agreement on the production, revealing that Holland was instrumental in helping find common ground. But the actor doesn’t quite see it that way.
“Well, I can’t say that I negotiated it back together,” Holland said. “I think I was the spark in a conversation that happened between Tom and Bob [Iger] and, you know, I just was really honored that I was able to be a part of that process. And ultimately the outcome was a fantastic one. And the future for Spider-Man is looking brighter than ever.”
Co-starring Masi Oka, Karen Gillan, Ben Mendelsohn, Rashida Jones, and DJ Khaled and directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno, and featuring music by Mark Ronson (including a collaboration with Anderson .Paak), “Spies in Disguise” is in theaters on Dec. 25.